RESIDENTS in the Castletroy estate of College Court are again “under siege” from rowdy students during the annual ‘Charity Week’ in the University of Limerick, which began this week.
The campus’s annual ‘Charity Week’ aims to raise thousands of euro for local charities. However, the week which was formerly known as ‘RAG week’ (Raising and Giving) - has again provoked uproar from upset long-term residents.
Similar to previous years in the estate, trees were uprooted and wheelie bins were turned over and set alight in a night of “mayhem” in Castletroy.
“Students completely ran amok and did an unbelievable amount of damage. I was shocked, appalled going through College Court this morning with all the trees broken. They just ripped the trees out. I am very proud of Castletroy but what went on last night is just shocking. When I made a complaint in the past I was told by the college it is just a minority of students. But it is not..it is time that the university did something about this,” said one resident who contacted this newspaper.
The resident did not want to give their name due to fears of reprisals from students.
Fine Gael councillor Michael Sheehan said the future of the week will have to be reviewed in light of ongoing disruptions to residents.
“There are guys being put into the boots of cars now with only their underpants on them. It’s like something out of Beirut. It is awful to think this is what our young people have descended to,” he told the Limerick Leader.
The name of the week was recently changed from RAG week to Charity week to encourage students to recognise the true importance of the week. Last year some €12,000 for raised for local charities.
The University of Limerick students’ union, which runs the week, was not available for comment, but like the university, has said in the past that the damage is caused by only a minority of students. This year the students’ union have introduced a wide range of new non-alcohol events and sporting competitions to encourage students to support the week’s beneficiaries: Pieta House, the Brothers of Charity, TLC4CF, and the Mid-west Rape Crisis Centre. Speaking in advance of the week, student president Derek Daly said: “The focus in recent years has shifted very much towards the fundraising element and will continue to do so with the recent establishment of the RAG Society.”